Belfast Telegraph

Health staff strike deferred to allow fresh talks

Siptu said emergency talks will take place on Thursday at the Workplace Relations Commission in a bid to resolve the pay dispute.

Ten thousand Health Service Executive support staff were due to walk out (PA)
Ten thousand Health Service Executive support staff were due to walk out (PA)

A strike planned by workers at hospitals across the country has been called off to allow for further talks.

Siptu confirmed on Wednesday evening that the 24-hour stoppage planned to take place at 38 hospitals and healthcare facilities on Thursday has been deferred pending the outcome of emergency talks at the Workplace Relations Commission on the implementation of a job evaluation scheme.

Ten thousand Health Service Executive (HSE) support staff were due to take action in the pay dispute.

Siptu’s health divisional organiser Paul Bell said: “The strike action scheduled for tomorrow is now deferred at the request of the Workplace Relations Commission.

“Discussions on the implementation of the job evaluation scheme for Siptu members in the health service will commence tomorrow.

Previous talks at the commission ended without agreement on Monday night.

The union said preparations for strike action next Tuesday and Wednesday would continue.

HSE welcomed the deferral of the planned action.

In a statement, it said: “Hospitals will endeavour to reinstate services and appointments in so far as possible and will contact patients directly to advise of any appointments and procedures that can proceed tomorrow.

“Community services will operate a full service.

The HSE had warned the strike would have a significant impact on patient services and it had begun contingency plans to ensure minimum disruption.

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